The Income tax department has issued a press release stating that searches were conducted in the properties of 4 major players in the Tamil film industry on Wednesday. This included residences and offices of a prominent actor - Vijay, his distributor - Sundar Arumugam, Producer - AGS and financier - Anbu Chezhiyan. According to the I-T department, the common thread among all these entities was the success of a recent film (Bigil) which was a box office hit collecting around Rs. 300 crore.
"In the context of the issues of the prominent Actor, it is stated, that, his investment in immovable properties and remuneration received from the said Producer (AGS) for acting in the film is the subject matter of investigation in the present search. Searches in some of the premises are still continuing," the press release said.
As far as AGS is concerned, the department says, "The producer, who is also a part of the group searched, is into film production, distribution and film exhibiting Multiplexes and has produced several films. Analysis of the accounts available in the office premises is under process. Evidences of actual receipts and expenses booked and remuneration paid to Artists is under investigation."
It is however from financier Anbu Chezhiyan that the I-T department has made significant recoveries in the last two days.
"The highlight of the search is the seizure of unaccounted cash of about Rs. 77 crore from hideouts and secret places located at Chennai and Madurai, purportedly belonging to the financier. Large number of property documents, Promissory notes, post dated cheques taken as collateral security were recovered during the search and have been seized," said the press release.
Anbu Chezhiyan is a well known cinema financier, a;so notorious for harassing his clients. In November 2017, he was booked for abetment of suicide in the death of Tamil producer Ashok Kumar. He allegedly harassed the producer to settle exhorbitant debts. The money he has concealed without payment of tax is allegedly over Rs.300 crore. "As per evidence detected during the search, it is estimated that the concealment in this case is likely to exceed Rs. 300 crore," said the I-T department.
The distributor of the film is also under the scanner.
"All documents in original, belonging to the distributor have been recovered from a hideout place, which was the house of his friend. Scrutiny of the evidence so unearthed is under progress," the department stated.